The getting families fishing initiative

This page tells part of this remarkable story… but also watch the video and get a greater sense of how the research behind this program is recruiting our next generation of anglers by touching the households, classrooms and hearts of millions of kids and their families.


The comprehensive R3 study by he Aquatic Resources Education Association and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation revealed that; “More that 55% of all anglers were initiated to angling by the time they were 15 years old.” It also showed that; “Over the past 20 years, the fishing initiation rate for children has declined steadily. That fact is compounded by the alarming 70% churn-lapse rate of these first-time anglers.” The most significant fact revealed in another recent study is that the biggest new growth potential in anglers is today’s youth 6 to 17 years old. So clearly, the future of fishing depends on recruiting our next generation of anglers. That sounds simple enough… but there’s some serious psychology required to make that happen.

The “60 IN 60” program, started by The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation in partnership with the American Sportfishing Association plus the fishing industry and the nation’s R3 community, set an aggressive goal of increasing fishing participation to 60 million anglers by December 2021


The “60 IN 60” program

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Fishing Participants

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Despite the collective R3 efforts, the 2019 Special Report on Fishing reveals that “From 2017 to 2018, 9.1 million people stopped fishing, 9.4 million started…. resulting in a net gain of 300,000 fishing participants.” That equates to 25,000 new anglers a month… a positive step in the right direction, but falling short of the original goal of nearly 11,000,000 more anglers by December 2021. So the question remains; How can we multiply this sustained growth in angling?


It’s very unlikely that simply telling a kid to, “try fishing” will result in recruiting a new angler. Most experts agree that recruitment education is a multi-step process that first requires a young person, using their own value system, to decide for themselves that fishing could be a fun and safe outdoor activity they would like to try. Then they need realistic pathways to try fishing for the first time.

So if the process of recruiting young people first begins with them deciding for themselves to try fishing, what tools can effectively make that impression? Research supports that today’s youth are greatly influenced in their lifestyle and recreational decisions in two ways: 1) Peer-hosted media that entertains, engages and educates them, 2) Peer-driven classroom activities where they share in a process of discovery and self expression. And once kids form their own value-based decisions, they have a major influence on their family’s recreational activities… such as fishing.

Unfortunately, few R3 or boating agencies or organizations have the multi-million dollar staff, infrastructure, personnel, budgets or today’s technical experience to produce and distribute broadcast mass media and educational curriculum that can inspire kids to want to go fishing… or to practice proper boating safety when they do go fishing.


Fortunately, the Getting Families Fishing Education Initiative was launched by the Future Angler Foundation in 2017 in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Into the Outdoors Education Network and KidsFishing.US. The success of the pilot expanded in 2018 as state DNRs and the RBFF also partnered in the program. In 2019 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined the program through a Sport Fish Restoration grant.

The end result so far is 36 half-hour Getting Families Fishing television shows and classroom education videos distributed nationally on 124 channels in an Emmy-winning youth education series to inspire and empower kids to try fishing. All of this is projected to impact over 20 MILLION kids and their families over the next 5 years. Judge the youth engagement for yourself and recruitment techniques by watching some of these youth fishing programs… with more coming online each month

Whew! So it looks like the fishing industry, marine industry, boating safety advocates, and related agencies can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the tide is about to turn on recruiting our next generation of safe-n-smart anglers… right?

Sorry, not yet. The funding partners so far have been critical in creating this national movement that can inspire millions of youth to want to try fishing for the first time. But as we head into 2021, the founding underwriters can no longer be expected to fund a program for the entire industry. It’s now time for the rest of the fishing industry, marine industry, boating safety, and R3 Community to support the continued success of this one-of-a-kind program that’s benefiting the fishing and boating industry’s collective future. So please take a moment to see all the ways this program inspires and empowers our future anglers and boaters. Then stand alongside your peers in helping fund the program for 2020. Simply fill in your pledge below, or contact us to learn how your funding can earn your organization, brand, or story actual content in the program.


The Into the Outdoors Syndicated broadcast television network impacts 7 states in 32 markets on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS affiliates reaching 260,000 viewers each week. This educational television series is the only program to earn 16 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the top youth educational series in the Midwest. Your show (content funders) is aired three times a year for two years impacts over 1,560,000 viewers, about half over 18 years of age.


Three years of 24/7 Digital Channel distribution on our dedicated Into the Outdoors Digital Network that includes; Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku TV, Smart TV, Google Chromecast, Fubo TV, NBC Tv, Sling TV, YouTube TV, AT&T TV, Hulu Plus Live TV, and CBS All Access, reaching a combined potential audience of 130 million users.


This series is now part of a National PBS offering through the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) distribution system that reaches and presents educational programs to over 277 public broadcasting stations across 46 states. Each month, over 109 million people watch their local public TV stations.


Each half-hour TV program is converted into Youth Shooting Sports and America’s Hunting Heritage classroom education videos distributed on the Into the Outdoors Education Network to teachers and students nationally along with free classroom lesson activities that encourage hands-on learning about hunting and shooting sports.


All of the television shows and educational videos are distributed free open-source nationally to every state/federal agency, shooting sports orgs, the hunting and shooting sports industries, and the entire R3 community via a dedicated media server 24/7 to use freely to enhance their R3 programs


And finally, all of the entertainment and educational media content in this program employ key psychological and production elements that empower kids to think critically for themselves using their sensibility and value systems. Research shows that these sophisticated media and educational techniques can be 400% more effective at shaping someone’s perception as opposed to trying to tell someone what to think.

Decoding How This Program Impacts Millions

Because today’s youth and adults watch media in new ways, reshaping perceptions requires both sophisticated psychological and distribution strategies. See how this program cracks the code in making lasting impressions across the country.

Getting Families Fishing Trailer

See if you can pick out all the R3 engagement elements in this 2-minute trailer from the half-hour programs that use R3 research to inspire kids and families to share the fun and discovery of fishing

Lasting Classroom Impressions

Hear what teachers and school administrators say about how our Emmy-winning programs empower both teachers and students in classrooms across the county to connect with the outdoors


By now you can see how this program uses three proven pillars that engage today’s generation – television, online videos and peer-learning classroom activities combined with key R3 strategies to create pathways for kids and their families to try fishing while practicing boating safety. And when you look at the partners below, you may notice that one of the most important things missing from this program right now… is you.

So please take a moment to make a pledge below or discover your vital role in recruiting our next generation of safe-n-smart anglers by contacting us for details on how you can join your peers who have already supported the fishing community for the past two years. Plus, download this PDF to discover all the in-show recognition you can earn when becoming a “Content Partner”.

Give us a call to learn more about a partnership role that can make your story part of the actual program content.
Call Dan 608-512-9596 or email